Project Overview


The Safe Motherhood Initiative (SMI) officially kicked off in May 2013 and is working with more than 10,000 healthcare providers and 118 birthing facilities to develop and implement standard approaches for handling obstetric emergencies associated with maternal mortality and morbidity. The SMI focuses on the three leading causes of maternal death – obstetric hemorrhage (severe bleeding), venous thromboembolism (blood clots), and severe hypertension in pregnancy (high blood pressure).

ACOG District II has worked intimately with obstetric providers across the state and the country to develop the contents of a maternal safety bundle toolkit that addresses these obstetric emergencies. SMI workgroup members and key hospital contributors had the opportunity to comment on, edit, and vet all materials contained within the toolkit among one another - a testament to their dedication and commitment to improving care of all pregnant women across New York State. The information contained within the toolkit provides standardized guidance and support to obstetrician-gynecologists, multidisciplinary clinical staff, and hospitals to develop a comprehensive and standardized care management process for patients who may be at risk for maternal mortality.

This program is supported by funding from Merck, through Merck for Mothers, the company’s 10-year, $500 million initiative to help create a world where no woman dies giving life. Merck for Mothers is known as MSD for Mothers outside the United States and Canada.

About Merck for Mothers

Merck for Mothers is a 10-year, $500 million initiative focused on creating a world where no woman dies during pregnancy. This initiative is committed to using Merck’s business and scientific expertise to improve maternal health and is already working in more than 30 countries around the world, including the US. Sponsored US programs, in addition to the SMI, include:

  • AMCHP (Every Mother Initiative, state maternal mortality review programs across the US)
  • AWHONN (New Jersey, Georgia, and Washington, DC)
  • CMQCC (California)
  • Enhancing community initiatives that coordinate care for high-risk women before, during and after childbirth, so they have access to services that encourage good health during and beyond pregnancy

In December 2011, Merck for Mothers made a commitment to ACOG District II to invest resources to standardize care practices for the leading causes of maternal mortality in New York State. In doing so not only has Merck for Mothers been able to offer financial assistance, but a wide array of global resources as well, from assistance in quantitative measurement of the SMI’s data from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene to sharing the depth and breadth of the SMI’s work with global partners in Agra, India.

For more information:

SMI Collaborations in New York State

New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH)

New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (NYCHHC)

The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS)

Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA)

New York State Academy of Family Physicians (NYSAFP)

New York State American Academy of Pediatrics (NYSAAP)


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American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188